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Dancing with the RiverPeople and Life on the Chars of South Asia$
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Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt and Gopa Samanta

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780300188301

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300188301.001.0001

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Living on Chars, Drifting with Rivers

Living on Chars, Drifting with Rivers

(p.200) Chapter 8 Living on Chars, Drifting with Rivers
Dancing with the River

James C. Scott

Yale University Press

This chapter explores how the poor live on a diverse mix of minimal resources by examining the households, and shows how individual families manage their incomes and how people mobilize resources on an informal basis. Rivers are always present in the collective consciousness of Bengal, not just as symbols or even as physical manifestations of cultural meanings, but forming the relations between places. Elements of nature such as the rivers do not stand alone within a specific context; they are part of the interconnected ecological processes within which both plant and human communities live. On chars, water remains the most important source of wealth as well as the biggest threat to a secure life. Thus, microscopic study of char livelihoods illuminates the importance of specific geographic context in understanding special adjustment processes.

Keywords:   households, incomes, rivers, cultural meanings, ecological processes, chars, livelihoods

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